Who Jew

  • News Brief

    A leading Russian Orthodox scholar has called for a more fervent effort to convert Russian-speaking Jews in Israel. Deacon Andrei Kuraev, a professor at the Moscow Spiritual Academy, said the Orthodox Christian Church based in Moscow should begin to proselytize actively among Israel’s 3 million Russian-speaking Jews. “We have a unique opportunity here for the… More ▸

  • Liberal Orthodox Rabbis Starting New ‘fellowship’ to Counter Rightward Shift

    To its architects, the agreement reached between the Rabbinical Council of America and the Israeli Chief Rabbinate offers a way out of a long-running dispute over the recognition of conversions performed by American Orthodox rabbis. But a small group of liberal Orthodox rabbis are unhappy with the deal, which was formally announced Tuesday. They say… More ▸

  • Pew Survey Provides Jewish Snapshot, but Critics Say the Sample is Too Small

    American Jews are adopting and discarding their Jewish identities with increasing rapidity in a country that is becoming less white and less Christian, according to a new study of religious affiliation in the United States. But just hours after the study’s publication Monday, Jewish demographers already were disputing some of the findings on Jews, contending… More ▸

  • News Brief

    The halls of the Australian federal government were used as a chupah for the first time. Michael Danby, a Jewish member of parliament, married Amanda Mendes Da Costa on Sunday in Canberra before about 150 guests, including Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, his deputy, Holocaust survivors and Jewish community leaders. The Marble Hall and the Queens… More ▸

  • News Brief

    The ex-president of the European Jewish Congress slammed his successor for a proposal to allow Diaspora Jews to vote in Israel. Pierre Besnainou called Moshe Kantor’s idea “ridiculous and hard to believe.” Kantor, the Russian-born billionaire who heads the EJC, offered his proposal Monday at the World Jewish Congress board of governors meetings in Jerusalem…. More ▸

  • News Brief

    A Jewish-born man adopted by a devoutly Catholic family can remain in Israel as he attempts to make aliyah. Timothy Nicholas Steger, 37, has been trying to make aliyah for the last year and a half, The Jerusalem Post reported last week. On Monday, the interior ministry announced it would grant Steger temporary residency status,… More ▸

  • Lantos’ Holocaust Experience Suffused His Political Career

    In his 27 years in the U.S. Congress, Rep Tom Lantos had two constituencies — California’s 12th District, encompassing parts of San Francisco and its suburbs, and the ghosts of the Jews who perished in his native Europe. Lantos (D-Calif.) announced his retirement Wednesday, citing a cancer diagnosis. “Routine medical tests have revealed that I… More ▸

  • Black Rabbi in Chicago Seeks to Bridge Racial Jewish Divide

    Rabbi Capers Funnye, spiritual leader of Beth Shalom B’nai Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation in Chicago, wants you to know that he likes gefilte fish — a lot. “I love it,” he told JTA in a recent interview. “I love lox. I love borscht. Some of my congregants don’t even know what borscht is.” Funnye’s congregants… More ▸

  • News Brief

    Germany’s Jewish community and Nativ agreed on outreach methods to the country’s Russian-speaking Jews. Several new Israeli culture centers will open in 2008, to be run jointly by Nativ and the Jewish Agency for Israel, according to a report in Ha’aretz. The agreement comes after months of recriminations between the Nativ, a Zionist outreach group,… More ▸

  • Israel’s “non-jewish Jews” Struggle with Identity, Exclusion

    In Israel, the “non-Jewish Jews,” as some Israelis call them, are everywhere. They drive buses, teach university classes, patrol in army jeeps and follow the latest Israeli reality TV shows as avidly as their Jewish counterparts. For these people — mostly immigrants from the former Soviet Union who are not Jews according to Israeli law… More ▸